A rough criminal gets into an argument over a girl in a dance hall. The argument turns into a fight… Continue reading Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson – His Regeneration (1915)
It is windy at a bathing resort. After fighting with one of the two husbands, Charlie approaches Edna while the two husbands themselves fight over ice cream. Driven away by her husband, Charlie turns to the other’s wife. Continue reading Charles Chaplin – By the Sea (1915)
The Little Fellow finds the girl of his dreams and works on a family farm. Continue reading Charles Chaplin – The Tramp (1915)
D.W. Griffith’s silent psychological drama based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” tells the story of a depressed young man who murders the cruel uncle who prevented his marriage to his beloved and the ensuing guilt that drives him into madness. Stars Henry B. Walthall, Blanche Sweet. AKA: “The Telltale Heart.” 84 min. Standard; Soundtrack: music score; bonus short “Edgar Allan Poe” (1909). Silent with music score. Continue reading D.W. Griffith – The Avenging Conscience: or ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ (1914)
Rapsodia Satanica (1915) was the last film directed by Nino Oxilia and is undoubtedly one of the finest achievements of the early Italian cinema. In it, Oxilia spins a variation on the Faust myth, embodied here by the diva Lyda Borelli. Typical of extravagant D’Annunzian aestheticism at its height, Rapsodia Satanica was one of the summits of what was later called the “tail coat film.” Diametrically opposed to the “cinema of reality” practiced by Serena, Martoglio and others, “tail coat films” set their melodramatic stories in the salons and villas of the upper middle class and the aristocracy, deploying narrative structures contrived to showcase their actors and especially its actresses. This had the effect of accentuating their physical presence and turning them into stars – probably the first stars in movie history. The success of the “dive” contributed to the development of motion picture grammar in its special use of the close-up.
Written by Anthony Kobal Continue reading Nino Oxilia – Rapsodia satanica aka Satan’s Rhapsody (1915)
Mike Pinsky, DVDVerdict wrote:
Russian film poet Evgeni Bauer combined the technical virtuosity of D.W. Griffith with the haunting terror of Edgar Allan Poe and the artist’s eye of Johannes Vermeer. He is — perhaps — the greatest film director you have never heard of. During his brief four-year career, Evgeni Bauer created macabre masterpieces. They are dramas darkly obsessed with doomed love and death, astonishing for their graceful camera movements, risqué themes, opulent sets and chiaroscuro lighting. Tragically, Bauer died in 1917, succumbing to pneumonia after breaking his leg.
For many decades, Bauer’s films were buried in the Soviet archives — declared too “cosmopolitan” and bizarre for the puritanical Soviet regime. But with the fall of the Iron Curtain, Bauer’s work has risen like a glorious phoenix out of the ashes of time. by MilestoneFilms Continue reading Yevgeni Bauer – Umirayushchii Lebed aka The Dying Swan (1917)
The tangled story that unfolds in the torrid melodrama The Wandering Shadow centers around the character of Irmgard (played by actress Mia May), a virtuous woman who, like many such heroines past and present, gets involved with the wrong kind of man. As the film opens, she is seen fussing on a train headed for the picturesque mountains of Germany, fleeing an unidentified gentleman. Through flashbacks, we learn that Irmgard once found employment with a wealthy free-love advocate (Hans Marr). The two have an affair and, with Irmgard pregnant and desperate, she schemes to secretly marry the man’s brother (also played by Hans Marr) so it at least appears that the child is being raised properly. The confusing story eventually has Irmgard trudging through the mountainous terrain to come across a generous monk who offers her a chance at the redemption she so desperately desires. Continue reading Fritz Lang – Das wandernde Bild aka The Wandering Image (1920)